Amma’s HUG – Human Union with God
Bhagavan Siva has a name Somashekhara or Chandrashekhara. It means that He is one who adorns the Crescent Moon on His Divine forehead. The full moon Poornima represents the Guru whose nature is Completeness and Wholeness. The crescent moon is only one quarter and limited, incomplete. This represents the limited human mind. Bhagavan Siva wearing the crescent on His Divine head signifies that He, the first Guru, Dakshinamurthy sees and knows that the limited mind of the Jivatma can also become Poorna or Infinite. “O man, you are essentially Divine – you are not alpa sakthi, alpajna but Sarva shakthi and Sarvajna – This is the teaching.
The Avathars and Sadgurus free us from our bondage and take us to ultimate freedom. The teaching in the Brahmacharya Ashram is how to come out of our bondage by experiencing the limitations of enjoyments of worldly objects. Grihastha Ashram or married life is the laboratory where they experiment and learn. Brahmacharya is theory, Grihastha ashram is practicals.
Karma or human actions is like a ladder. We can use a ladder to climb up or climb down. Usually our actions make us not climb down, but slide down or slip down. But a Sadguru like Amma helps us to climb up. We know how many devotees Amma has rescued from their slavish dependence on objects of enjoyment and pleasure. They discover a new joy in Amma’s Divine Presence. That is why we say that
DRUG ADDICTS BECOME HUG ADDICTS – Amma’s Hug addicts. We know only to give bath to our bodies – but never think that our minds also need a daily bath! Amma’s Hug is a body and mind bath together – purifying, refreshing and energising!
A hungry wolf, in search of food, was wandering near a village. On the way he met a healthy, well fed Alsatian dog. We know that the alsatian belongs to the wolf’s lineage and breed. The kind alsatian gave a share of his food to the wolf. The lean and famished wolf looked at the alsatian and asked how he managed to get so much food. The alsatian said that he worked for his master guarding the house and the master fed him well. The wolf said that he too was willing to work for the alsatian’s master so that he may also get plenty of food. The alsatian and the wolf started walking towards the alsatian’s master’s house. On the way, suddenly, the wolf noticed that the neck of the alsatian had a worn out mark. The wolf asked what that was. The alsatian replied that the worn out mark was caused by the collar and chain which his master uses to keep him chained during the day. The master would let the alsatian free only in the night. When the wolf heard this, he stopped. He told the alsatian. “My friend, you may be getting plenty of food. But you have no freedom – you are chained! I may not be getting food, – but I am free! Goodbye!” and the wolf ran away.
This story was in our text books when we were in the fourth or fifth standard in school. The innate nature of not only every human being but every living being is FREEDOM. In spite of knowing this fully well, man mercilessly cages, and chains every animal and bird in this creation. Not only that, he himself is bound and has become so dull that he himself is not aware of his bondage. There were many Indians who very happy when the Britishers gave them high posts. They were called “Boot lickers of the British” and they were the ones who betrayed great patriots like Bhagath Singh to the British police!
When a bear hugs us or a python coils around us we are finished! But Amma’s Hug brings us in direct contact with Divinity. The most well-known hugs are, when Hanumanji came back from Lanka discovering Seethadevi (the wife of Lord Rama), and also giving Ravana a taste of SriRamji’s Infinite might, SriRamji out of great joy, hugged Hanumanji. And the second one came from Bhagavan Krishna – When Kuchela or Sudama, Bhagavan’s childhood friend came to Dwaraka to see Bhagavan, Bhagavan hugged Sudama, and for the first time in His Divine Life, His queens and courtiers saw tears in Bhagavan’s eyes.
Again in the Ramayana (the story of Lord Rama, SriRamji), at one point of time when the Rakshasas (demons) appeared to be winning, Sage Agasthya appeared and advised SriRamji to use the Mohana Asthra (a deluding weapon) on both the armies. Owing to the deluding power of the astra, all the vanaras and rakshasas appeared as SriRamji. There were countless forms of SriRamji on the battlefield. The rakshasas seeing their sworn enemy around them, started attacking each other and every one of them perished! The vanaras on the other hand started seeing their beloved Lord SriRamji around them and started hugging each other and falling at each other’s feet! With what enthusiasm Amma hugged President Abdul Kalam and Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Vajpayee, with that same enthusiasm, She hugged the leper Dathan also. She sees Divinity in everything.
In the Ramayana, when the search for Seethadevi was about to begin, there were Hanuman and Sugreeva in front of SriRamji. SriRamji could have called Sugreeva and said “Sugreeva, it is you who know the pangs of separation from your wife. I give you strength. You go in search of Seetha!” But SriRamji sent Hanumanji because the pang of separation Seetha was experiencing was not the separation of a wife from her husband, but it was the separation of a devotee from Her Lord and it was Hanuman who knew this pang of separation of a devotee from the Lord – so SriRamji sent him.
The Bhagavatha Katha was narrated by Sage Sukadev, a Nitya brahmachari (monastic). The Rasaleela or the Divine dance of SriKrishna and the Gopis was narrated by a brahmachari! What does a brahmachari know about romance and love making? Bhagavan could have selected Kamadeva to narrate the Rasaleela! Why Shukadeva? Because the union of Bhagavan SriKrishna and the Gopis were not a union of a lover and his beloved, but the union of the Jivatmas with the Paramatma and Sage Shukadeva alone knows this, Kamadeva and Valentine don’t! Just as a cow, however hungry she is, will never eat delicious eggs, fish and meat placed in front of her, so too Avathars and Jivanmukthas are totally free from all kinds of enjoyments. Every action that they perform is pure.
The modern youngsters celebrate Valentine’s day or lover’s day. How many of them know who Valentine was and what he meant by the word love? We hear people say “I fell in love with so and so!” Our Acharyas taught us – “There is NO fall in Love. You can fall in lust, you can fall in passion, you can fall in infatuation you can fall in attachment, but you cannot fall in Love – You RISE in Love!”
Amma’s Hug is a union of Parashakti and Her Alpashakthi children
Human’s Unity with God
In Amma’s Hug we experience
Human’s Ultimate Goal.
Millions who come to see Amma at Amritapuri and other places experience divine love, compassion and a new strength and vitality in Amma’s love. They sit together with silent blissful tears and a sense of fulfilment. In Amma’s divine presence they become an
Harmonious Universal Gathering
Amma is the
Almighty’s Manifestation as Mother of All Beings
Yamadeva has a noose or a rope (Paasha in Sanskrit) with which he pulls the Jivatma out of his body and takes him to Yamaloka. Our Durgadevi also has a paasha.
“Parashum Paasham eva cha” says the Durga Kavacham. Among the many weapons Durgadevi holds on Her eight divine hands, She holds the Parasu, axe and Paasha rope. With the axe, She cuts all our attachments and bondage and pulls and binds us towards Her with Her rope. Her Motherly love is the rope. Yamadeva is no match for Her. Every attachment is climbing down the ladder – falling into bondage, but the attachment to our Guru and God are climbing up the same ladder into Freedom, Peace and Infinite Joy.
The Indian way of greeting is called a Namaskar, joining both the hands and bringing them to the heart seeing God in the person in front of him. It is more scientific and hygienic than the modern shake hands, so too, when one greets another with a hug, it is, Amma says, not a union of two bodies, but a union of two hearts, accepting the other totally, because the other person whom I hug is only a form of God. Amma sees all forms as Her own and accepts them. She is in the highest state – I remember a verse on Sage Shukadeva with which Bhagavatam begins –
Yam pravrujantham anupetham
Puthrethi tanmayathayaa tharavobinethuhu
Tam sarvabootha hridayam
Shukadeva was called Anupetham, one who had not undergone Upanayana ceremony which qualifies one for various spiritual practices which ultimately leads to liberation. Shukadeva was also called Apethakrithyam – one who is above restrictions which humans in general have to follow. Shukadeva was already in the highest state from birth. He is called Sarvabootha hridayam. As soon as He was born, he walked away to take Sannyasa. When His father Sage Vyasa called out to him “O Suka!” all the trees in unison responded “Yes, father!” It showed that Suka had become identified with all beings in this universe – and therefore no yama niyama, dharma etc i.e. the various rules and regulations could bind him. Our Amma is also in this state – Or we can say, even above him. At the end of Mahabharata (a historical epic of ancient India), when the infant Parikshith in Uttara’s womb was killed by the Brahmastra of Ashwattama, Sage Vyasa said that if a Nitya brahmachari touches the baby, the baby would come back to life. Even Shukadeva hesitated to touch the baby. But Bhagavan Krishna touched the baby and it came back to life. Our Amma is like SriKrishna. No action which She performs can make Her impure or bind Her!
A hug is a union of two hearts! Avathars like Amma manifest all virtues in their purest forms! Amma’s Smile is the purest form of smile. Amma’s Patience is the purest form of patience. There is absolute purity even in Her anger! Whereas for human beings, even love and everything is adulterated. Recently we heard something humorous – A youngster consumed poison but fortunately did not die, because nowadays even poison is adulterated!
When Sri Rama was sending the fatal arrow at Ravana, He had only Love in His heart. When SriKrishna was sending his Sudarshana Chakra (divine weapon) at Sishupala, He had only Love in His heart! All Avathars and Sadgurus have only Compassion in their hearts like surgeons who cause pain only to cure their patients.
Sometime back, somebody asked me “Who is your Vice-Chancellor?” An interesting thought then came to my mind. I first answered his question then started thinking that there are many vice chancellors in Amritapuri. So many youngsters, well-educated and very well to do, in India, America, Europe, etc. left their jobs, their high positions, luxury and joined Amma’s ashram. They are Wise Chance-llors. They got one rare opportunity, one chance to reach the goal of human life. They Wisely used that Chance and came to Amma – They are Wise Chancellors. There were many who could stop all their bad habits, vices and come to Amma – Their vices were cancelled – They are vice cancellors. They wisely cancelled their vices. Amritapuri is full of Vice-Chancellors, you know.
Swami Amritageetananda Puri